Most of my reloading efforts have been with pistol cartridges. My one set of .223 Rem trials just was not successful, but I’m going to try rifle again.
The one thing I don’t like about doing rifle is all the case prep work. There’s a lot of it, and it doesn’t really lend well to progressive presses. But I found something that, at least from doing Internet research, looks like it’s going to have a lot of potential: the RCBS X-die (RCBS refers to it as the “X die” and the “X-Sizer die”). From their manual:
ABOUT THE X DIE
The X-Sizer die is a uniquely designed full length resizing die for bottleneck rifle cases. This die not only full length resizes the case, it also limits the growth of the case. This eliminates the need for repeated trimming after an initial trim is done to standardize the case. This die is not intended to shorten the length of the case, rather, as the case grows, the mandrel will reduce the normal rate of growth. This is the result of the case mouth coming in contact with the mandrel stop during resizing. Cases repeatedly sized in the X-Sizer die will grow a few thousandths of an inch initially, and will then stabilize below the maximum case length. Using the X-Sizer die eliminates the need to trim after each shot. X-Sizer dies can be used for full-length resizing with or without the X feature. Partial neck sizing can be done but only without the X feature.
Pretty neat. Google searching turns up good results, with people using it in progressive presses, getting longer case life, and still getting accurate results (perhaps not 100% as accurate as the most finicky of benchrest competition shooters would want, but far better than most of us will ever notice). Of course, there’s a lot of time-savings in subsequent reloads using then X-die, which is where the win is.
So I reckon once I start rifle reloading, I’ll just start with a lot of brass prep, doing initial casework on as many cases as I feel like dealing with on the old single-stage RCBS press (regular full-length resize, clean the primer pockets, debur the flash hole, trim the length according to the X-die instructions, and then mark these cases with a Sharpie so I know “this is a case prepped for the X-die”). It won’t be until the second go-round with these cases that I’ll actually try the X-die, so who knows how long it may be until that happens and then I see how results go. But, I picked up 2 X-Sizer dies, one small base .223 Rem and one small base .308 Win (I’d have gotten a 6.8 SPC if they had a die in that size). I’m curious to see how this will go.